Bud the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane so early in the year; 94L may develop

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:14 PM GMT on May 25, 2012

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Category 2 Hurricane Bud is weakening, but still presents a formidable rainfall threat as it continues north-northeast towards an expected landfall between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico late Friday night. Thursday night at 11 pm EDT, Bud peaked at Category 3 status, with 115 mph winds, becoming the earliest Category 3 hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific. Recent Satellite loops show that Bud has weakened, though. The eye has disappeared, and the cloud pattern has shrunk and appears squashed, due to an increase in dry air, wind shear, and cooler sea surface temperatures affecting the storm. These hostile conditions should continue to weaken Bud to a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm by the time of landfall. Bud is projected to cross the coast in a rugged, relatively unpopulated area, so wind and storm surge damage will probably be light to moderate. Heavy rain will cover a much wider area, and will be the main threat from Bud. The coast where Bud is headed towards is very mountainous, and numerous flash floods and dangerous mudslides will affect the region, probably including the cities of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. I don't think Puerto Vallarta will see much in the way of wind or storm surge damage, since it is in a well-protected location and will probably be on the weak (left-front) side of the hurricane. Manzanillo is at higher risk, since it will probably be on the stronger right-front side of the hurricane.


Figure 1. True-color satellite image of Hurricane Bud taken at 12:25 pm EDT May 24, 2012. At the time, Bud was a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

A record May for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season
Bud is the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane on record for so early in the year, and is tied with Hurricane Alma of 2002 (115 mph winds) as the second strongest May hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific. Only Hurricane Adolph of 2001 (145 mph winds) was stronger. Also, Bud's appearance on May 21 marked the earliest date since record keeping began in 1949 for formation of the season's second named storm. The previous record was set in 1984, when the second named storm formed on May 29. Hurricanes are uncommon in the Eastern Pacific in May; there have been just twelve since record keeping began in 1949--an average of one May hurricane every five years. If Bud ends up making landfall in Mexico as a hurricane, it would be only the second Eastern Pacific May hurricane on record to hit Mexico. The other was Hurricane Agatha of May 24, 1971, which hit the same stretch of coast that Bud is threatening. Agatha made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane about 45 mi (75 km) from Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Ocean temperatures this year in the region where Aletta and Bud formed are only slightly above average, so the large-scale atmospheric patterns are probably more to blame for this year's exceptionally early start to hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Invest 94L.

Invest 94L off the Georgia coast could develop this weekend
An area of disturbed weather (Invest 94L) a few hundred miles east of the Georgia coast is headed northeast at about 15 mph. The disturbance has not become more organized over the past day, due to very high wind shear of 40 - 55 knots. However, the latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear will drop to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, on Saturday and Sunday. Most of our reliable models predict that 94L could organize into a subtropical or tropical depression or storm on Saturday or Sunday off the coast of Georgia/South Carolina. NHC is giving 94L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical or subtropical depression by Sunday morning. A ridge of high pressure is expected to build in over the weekend off the East Coast, which will force 94L to the west back towards the coast, and heavy rains from 94L are likely to begin affecting coastal South Carolina, Georgia, and Northern Florida on Saturday and Sunday. There is a lot of dry, continental air on the west side of 94L, so the rainfall amounts from the storm will be limited unless until the center makes landfall. If these rains do materialize, they would be welcome, considering the moderate to severe drought conditions in the area.

I'll have an update Saturday.

Jeff Masters

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This is not a hurricane:

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Quoting Levi32:
Good afternoon.

Blog update on 94L:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, May 25th, with Video


Being I live right in the SE corner of Georgia, this is really gonna be interesting to watch. Thanx Levi, you always put everything in total perspective...
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Hurricane experts push to improve intensity forecasts

By Alexandra Witze
June 2nd, 2012; Vol.181 #11 (p. 26)

Anyone waiting for Hurricane Irene on North Carolina's coast last August might have been a little disappointed. As the storm barreled toward the Outer Banks, parka-clad TV meteorologists lined the beaches in anticipation. But instead of grinding ashore as powerfully as expected, Irene wimped out, hitting land with wind speeds about 10 percent weaker than predicted.

Just as easily, hurricanes can do the opposite, strengthening when they're not expected to. Take Charley, which jumped two categories on the hurricane scale in five hours before slamming into Florida in 2004. Or 2007's Felix, which intensified quickly into a Category 5 storm, the highest possible, before devastating much of Nicaragua.

Why some storms spin up with deadly force and others putter along, or even weaken, remains something of a scientific mystery. And so hurricane forecasters have made this problem a top priority for the next decade.

...

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/340770 /title/Storm_Front
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Quoting Patrap:

12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest94

Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Early Model Wind Forecasts



Pat,it would help if we had some lines on this to look at!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Q: Assuming that 94L develops, what will be its peak intensity?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane/Major Hurricane

I'll go C.) but I'll say 40 knots at max strength and sub-tropical.
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327. txjac
Any chance of Bud coming off the east side of Mexico and re-organizing in the gulf?

Or is there too much dry air?
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


June 1st is the date when Regularly issued Tropical Weather Outlook's are issued.

Yup, the start of the regularly scheduled season, and I can't wait!
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:



"nuttin but net"


Are you Dwayne Wade?

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EP022012 - Hurricane BUD


Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery





Ocean Heat Content & Forecast Track

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ECMWF once again saying that 94L will obtain peak strength as it pulls away from Florida after it's landfall at around 144 hours.
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The southern center, the one that is of tropical origin, is moving rapidly northward and is clearly becoming dominant, beginning to absorb the baroclinic wave which formed the 2nd center earlier this morning. This makes sense given that the southern center is closest to the low-level convergence zone, and is moving under and increasingly diffluent flow aloft as it moves northward.



Find GIF loops here
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26564
As of 18z, still moving NNE and the BAM models shifted slightly N. Central Ga for even the shallow model.



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Quoting 1900hurricane:
One thing that kills me about possible preseason development is the lack of a regularly issued Tropical Weather Outlook. I would love to get a look inside of the NHC's head right now and see if anything has changed since the last TWO, which was almost 12 hours ago.

Of course, they may have not updated it because nothing has changed yet and they don't need to... but I'm impatient. :P


June 1st is the date when Regularly issued Tropical Weather Outlook's are issued.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
12Z Euro brings 94L as a strong system into NE FL and then emerges it in the NE Gulf as still a 40mph storm then moves it back east across N FL and back into the Atlantic and regains strength again. WOW!


96hours


120 hours



"nuttin but net"
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12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest94

Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Early Model Wind Forecasts

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Meanwhile, Bud is only marginally a hurricane:

EP, 02, 2012052518, , BEST, 0, 190N, 1055W, 65, 990, HU, 64, NEQ, 25, 30, 20, 20, 1007, 220, 15, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, BUD, D
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Quoting ncstorm:
As a NC'ian..this aint going to be pretty..



Seems pretty bullish for the Euro, I expect that from the CMC...but not the Euro. I wonder if shear might really drop off after all the meanderin 94L is bound to do, that could explain this solution.
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Quoting Levi32:


South Carolina currently seems unlikely. Picking between northern Florida and Georgia is difficult before the system has consolidated into a single center. Right now it has two, so for now the best estimate, in my opinion, is that landfall will occur somewhere between Daytona Beach, Florida and Savanna, Georgia. That's not a horribly long stretch of coastline anyway.



Sounds like a good summation to me. I think the good things I heard about you are correct.


Now how deep and how strong the winds (best guess) :)

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One thing that kills me about possible preseason development is the lack of a regularly issued Tropical Weather Outlook. I would love to get a look inside of the NHC's head right now and see if anything has changed since the last TWO, which was almost 12 hours ago.

Of course, they may have not updated it because nothing has changed yet and they don't need to... but I'm impatient. :P
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Q: Assuming that 94L develops, what will be its peak intensity?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane/Major Hurricane

I'm going to have to go with C.) - 60 knots or 70 mph.

I say C about 60 mph... Conditions aren't perfect (see picture showing all the dry air to the west) but they are conducive for a mid strength TS

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Quoting Neapolitan:
Winds are back up to 35 knots, and the pressure is back down to 1009:

AL, 94, 2012052518, , BEST, 0, 312N, 752W, 35, 1009, LO, 34, NEQ, 80, 120, 0, 0, 1014, 120, 70, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,


94L will become Tropical Storm Beryl at the first advisory.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Q: Assuming that 94L develops, what will be its peak intensity?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane/Major Hurricane

I'm going to have to go with C.) - 60 knots or 70 mph.


C, too much dry air coupled with moderate SSTs will probably keep this at TS strength. Just for fun, I expect it to peak between 55-65 mph with a pressure between 992-995 mb.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Winds are back up to 35 knots, and the pressure is back down to 1009:

AL, 94, 2012052518, , BEST, 0, 312N, 752W, 35, 1009, LO, 34, NEQ, 80, 120, 0, 0, 1014, 120, 70, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,

At least they put it back in the right spot..
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How depressing ... from images like #291, the southwesterly feed into 94L/Beryl should function just like a sea breeze and once again rob the SW FL coast of any rain. We probably won't get anything unless the storm manages to slide much further west and turn our flow to a southerly one.
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As a NC'ian..this aint going to be pretty..it rides back up the coast and getting stronger..

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Not going to start a vote now but given the current water temps around 78 and falling pressure, is NHC going to call a subtropical or tropical depression first based on appearance/satt data at some point over the next 12 hours or are they going to wait to see if it develops significant t-storm activity closer to the center of circulation and go right to sub-tropical or tropical storm depending on recon tomorrow?

Interesting to see what will happen over the next 12-24.
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What will be the lowest pressure 94L/Beryl achieves and what will the pressure be at landfall?

I am thinking there will be some weakening in the 6-12 hours before landfall as the storm leaves the Gulf Stream behind.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Grothar is clearly ten times older than National Hurricane Center.

Therefore his word is the word of the land!





I remember when the the NHC was built in Miami. It used to be a tomato field.
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Thanks Nea, that's where the 18z models will initialize.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:



People say you are one worth listening to so I'll ask. You think SC, GA or FL is most likely to see landfall from 94L/Beryl?


South Carolina currently seems unlikely. Picking between northern Florida and Georgia is difficult before the system has consolidated into a single center. Right now it has two, so for now the best estimate, in my opinion, is that landfall will occur somewhere between Daytona Beach, Florida and Savanna, Georgia. That's not a horribly long stretch of coastline anyway.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26564




Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)
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I wouldn't mind a GA/FL border landfall, close enough that we will get plenty of rain here. We can use some more.
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Winds are back up to 35 knots, and the pressure is back down to 1009:

AL, 94, 2012052518, , BEST, 0, 312N, 752W, 35, 1009, LO, 34, NEQ, 80, 120, 0, 0, 1014, 120, 70, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
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12Z Euro brings 94L as a strong system into NE FL and then emerges it in the NE Gulf as still a 40mph storm then moves it back east across N FL and back into the Atlantic and regains strength again. WOW!


96hours


120 hours
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
they will get a few dry days soon no golf again for kman
He'll probably have better conditions on the weekend
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Q: Assuming that 94L develops, what will be its peak intensity?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane/Major Hurricane

I'm going to have to go with C.) - 60 knots or 70 mph.

C
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
And, want to wait for a few more frames but, I see a west component.


Already? It wont have much time to organize..


Q: Assuming that 94L develops, what will be its peak intensity?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane/Major Hurricane


D. Hurricane 75mph
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Q: Assuming that 94L develops, what will be its peak intensity?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane/Major Hurricane

I'm going to have to go with C.) - 60 knots or 70 mph.


C
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Will be interesting to see where they initialized the 18z BAM's
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Quoting ncstorm:
reemerging and stronger over the atlantic
120 hours Euro--Florida, you've been asking for rain..well you bout to get it!!



North and Central Florida...

South Florida.. not so much.
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:
The models have this as a slow-moving system... IF it comes ashore (as nothing is etched in stone at this point), there are going to be some huge rainfall totals. I know anything north of Lake Okeechobee into GA/SC can REALLY use the rain.


By using the current model forecasts, this is what is expected. Any change in the models could change this a lot.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Q: Assuming that 94L develops, what will be its peak intensity?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane/Major Hurricane

I'm going to have to go with C.) - 60 knots or 70 mph.

C
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Quoting Levi32:


This is exactly why it is not a tropical cyclone yet.



People say you are one worth listening to so I'll ask. You think SC, GA or FL is most likely to see landfall from 94L/Beryl?
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Quoting nigel20:
Wet in  Grand Cayman

they will get a few dry days soon no golf again for kman
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Q: Assuming that 94L develops, what will be its peak intensity?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane/Major Hurricane

I'm going to have to go with C.) - 60 knots or 70 mph.
D. 75 mph Hurricane
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The wind shear tendency should begin dropping tomorrow. It would not be out of the question to name this by tomorrow afternoon. I still want to see how strong the high to the Northeast of the system will be. If it is strong enough and in place, it could prevent the system from moving to far North




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The models have this as a slow-moving system... IF it comes ashore (as nothing is etched in stone at this point), there are going to be some huge rainfall totals. I know anything north of Lake Okeechobee into GA/SC can REALLY use the rain.
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reemerging and stronger over the atlantic
120 hours Euro--Florida, you've been asking for rain..well you bout to get it!!

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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